Post # 1
We are trying to decide who we should file our taxes with.
DH has always used H&R Block. I’ve always used a private accounting firm (I used to have complicated taxes due to a joint business venture – that’s not really as complicated as it once was, and my taxes are much easier – but, I’ve continued to go to the same accounting firm.)
Cost is really the biggest factor. The private accounting firm is about double what H&R Block charges.
So – I’m wondering – is there any downside to H&R Block? I kind of see them as Jiffy Lube for your car (where it gets the job done, but generically and perhaps not as good as a certified car dealership).
Anyway – would love any thoughts – esp from the accounting world!
Post # 3
We used H&R Block last year, and they took the full 2 weeks to direct deposit our refund. I’ve heard of other places that get you your money sooner. We’re still waiting on 1 more W2 before we can file so I really REALLY hope it’s in the mail today.
Post # 4
We use a cpa because our taxes are kinda complicated and I don’t trust H&R Block to do it right; I know our cpa’s background, but I have no clue how much training/education the H&R Block people have. Could you do it with both H&R Block and your accounting firm this year (obviously it’d be a little spendy) and then make a decision based on those results for subsequent years’ taxes?
Post # 5
I’m not really a fan of H&R Block. I think your Jiffy Lube analogy is pretty good; you could get a great accountant, or be stuck with a terrible one. I do mine and my family’s taxes myself, but once in a while my mom will do something unusual with her investments so I send her to a private CPA I know.
Post # 6
We always do our own, using the Turbo Tax software you can download for free. Never had any trouble, but our taxes are pretty straightforward.
Post # 7
We used TurboTax this year, but I’ve started to look at private firms for financial/tax planning for next year. H&R Block really only operates from Jan-April, so if you’re thinking long term, you might want to keep that in mind (like if you had questions in September, it might be harder to find the people who were already working on your case.)
Post # 8
I went to H&R Block last year but the accountant didn’t know what the hell they were doing! I am serious. They told me I owe $12,000 in taxes. WTF!?!??!!? I didn’t make that much to be able to owe that much. That was SCARY. Then I went to a private accountant, who did in fact know WHAT he was doing. That’s a $12,000 loss to find out someone fucked up your taxes…. Stick to a reputable private.
Post # 9
It really depends on how complicated your taxes are and how precise you want to be. I know everyone really hopes to earn back every dollar they can, but if you gain an extra $20 back from the IRS but spend $200 more to have the CPA do your taxes then it really isn’t beneficial.
If you are taking standard deductions and don’t have anything complicated I would just go with H&R block, but I would still check their work and do some of your own research.
Post # 10
If your taxes aren’t complicated I don’t see the point in paying almost double for a private firm. I’ve used H+R for the last 2 years and thought they did a really great thorough job. You have to remember that since they are a chain, they have very high standards to be held to. Unlike a private firm where no one (besides the owner) is really holding anyone accountable.
Besides – I highly doubt the private firm will get you more money back on your return than H+R, so therefor it really wouldn’t benefit you cost-wise.
Post # 11
We actually had a great experience with H&R Block. We got back much more than we antcipated, and the guy helped us find all different possible ways to get more! But of course, being a chain, every location will be different.
Post # 12
How complicated are your returns? Do you have lots of deductions? Side businesses? Kids? Etc?
The more information you have the more I would lean towards the professional. I work for an accountant but I do my taxes on turbo tax because we don’t have very much to do! However, last year we went with the guy I work for because we had the 8,000k tax credit and we wanted to make sure it was done right.
If all you have is a W2, home mortgage interest, interest income, charitable contributions, etc…then you’ll probably be fine going with someplace like H&R Block.
Post # 13
This was our first year filing joint taxes and we used H&R Block (we had both used them when filing singly) and we didn’t have any problems any time we’ve ever went there!
Post # 14
I have used HR Block before. They totally messed up my taxes. I got several letters from the IRS throughout the next year saying I owed more money. I will NEVER use tham again. Also, my BIL does taxes for HR Block during tax season, and if you knew him, you would know they will hire ANYONE off the street to do your taxes
Post # 15
I’ve always used a private accountant for my taxes and now I have a MIL who is a CPA and does our taxes for me and DH! Score!
Post # 16
If you had asked this two weeks ago, my answer would be different. I’ve had a private firm do my taxes for a few years and it’s been just fine. But I got a call from my accountant an hour before we were going to go into her office and she said “soooooooo I wanted to give you a heads up that since you’ve had a lot of changes this year, the cost to do your taxes is going up.” I knew this since my parents get theirs done there and you know, it was expected. “Okay,” I replied. “How much?” “$300.” That I did not expect. She went on to tell me that, I didn’t hear this from her, but I could probably get it done at H&R (“or one of those places”) for much cheaper. She was right, and we got our refund in a timely manner.
Honestly, I would rather my prior accountant had done them, but not for $300.